Convert site visitors into paying customers by prompting visitors to gradually increase their engagement through the “Ladder of Participation.”
There is a definitive correlation between user engagement and conversion. As a user becomes increasingly engaged, they are more willing to pay for a digital publishers content or services. More importantly, users who are more active in the publisher’s online community make the subscription decision sooner compared with users who are less active (or not active at all).
A recent MIT Sloan Management Review study report, titled “Turning Content Viewers Into Subscribers,” asserts that engagement is the key to turning casual readers into paying subscribers, and the ladder model as an effective framework to boost engagement over time. Using what the research dubs the “Ladder of Participation,” publishers can prompt site users to progressively accelerate their on-site engagement to become paying subscribers.
“The concept of a ‘ladder’ demonstrates a user’s decision-making process, which is affected by his or her past experience with the website, and which expresses the user’s wishes and free will. The notion of the ladder is based on the idea that, as users become increasingly engaged with a website, they become more willing to pay for its services — and the website must take an active approach to engage and interact with its users, guiding them ‘up the ladder,’” says the report, authored by academics Lior Zalmanson and Gal Oestreicher-Singer.
“The concept of a ‘ladder’ demonstrates a user’s decision-making process, which is affected by his or her past experience with the website, and which expresses the user’s wishes and free will.”
Through each stage, this report demonstrates the correlation between a user’s placement on the proverbial ladder and their likelihood of converting into loyal, paying subscribers.
But not all engagement is created equal. “Liking” a video may not be as valuable to a publisher as a user who actively comments on content. The report provides a framework for engagement levels with three categories with varying degrees of value: